Sunrise was the ideal time for a quick run up the beach, something that Dawn tried to do whenever staying on the shore. As she rounded a rocky section that tended to separate two spans of oceanfront, she was surprised to see her way obstructed by two lone figures that lay on the long stretch of deserted beach. Just for a moment it seemed that there was movement. What...?
Bodies. Two of them, clearly naked and, it appeared to her as though they were not simply sleeping, but unconscious.
One of them was smaller; wisp thin and blond, she was immediately struck by the way sunrise was playing off his pale skin. The bigger man had dark hair, dangerously unkempt, she thought, and had to hold back the urge to reach towards him and push back a strand of hair from his forehead.
A wave lapped at the feet of the brunet, causing him to stir slightly. From her vantage point the woman saw that he had a cut of some sort on his shoulder, and he favored it as he began to rise from his position in the sand. He seemed not quite aware of his surroundings, and it was with a suddenness that almost unnerved the watching woman that he realized the blond was not responding to the water as it reached his legs. Surely the chill alone should have been enough to awaken him.
From her vantage point in the rocks, Dawn watched as the brunet tried to rouse his friend. The blond was slow to wake up, and when he did her eyes were drawn to something that evoked a response in her of a less than subtle urge.
Napoleon was fully awake now, and impatient for Illya to be so as well.
"Illya! Illya, wake up. We need to get out of here..."
The blond stirred, then sat bolt upright as his awareness increased. What the...
"Where are we? What...?"
As he started to rise, the realization of his nakedness made him pause, and then something else gained his attention.
"Chyort! What is this?"
Napoleon had to laugh at that question, because what IT was was fairly obvious.
"Well, from the looks of it, tovarisch, I'd say you have a boner the size of a Dodger Dog."
Illya sneered at his companion, not fully aware of what a Dodger Dog was, but painfully reminded that his penis was big enough to use as a cricket bat. How?
"Angelique. The inflection had as much venom in it as the spider she had once attempted to use for assassination.
"Look, Illya... I guess we know what it is that Thrush has been working on. The question is, did she...um...leave us a sample in order to help us fight it, or was it something else she had in mind?"
Illya lay back down in the sand, his engorged member now a flag hoisted in the breeze that was beginning to blow towards the shore. Misery was painted on his fine features, and the blond hair seemed to melt into the sand. He closed his eyes against the very real discomfort, unaware that there was someone else watching...wondering...
Dawn crept a little closer to the scene she was observing. The rocks provided just enough cover to retain her stealthy posture. Her curiosity was completely engaged now, her eyes beginning to relay an appreciation to her once shocked mind. The bigger man, the brunet, was very good looking. She could tell now that he had a strong profile with a chin that looked more suited for a Saturday matinee than bumming naked on the beach. The blond had longer hair than she was used to seeing, and even from a distance she noted that his eyes were the color of a caribbean lagoon, something she had often dreamed of visiting.
Illya lay atop the sand, waves lapping at his feet even as the sun was beginning to shed its heat on the two men. The degree of discomfort was surprising, and his scientific self began to usurp his thought processes. How did a drug deliver the amount of blood to this organ specifically, and for this length of time? Under different circumstances it might be an effective aid to men who experienced...
Illya shuddered slightly. That was not a problem he had faced, but then his current problem seemed slightly worse for the sake of its uncertainty.
Napoleon tried to remember the evening they had spent with Angelique. The fact that Illya had obviously been there...that they had all...well, it was a curiosity he couldn't solve at the moment. Normally his partner avoided the Thrush agent with whatever means he could. Given their state of undress and knowing she had been with them...Illya's current condition...
This time is was Napoleon who shuddered. The three of them? It was unthinkable, and even on drugs it was hard to believe that Illya would have cooperated in anything like what he was imagining.
"Illya, we're going to have to find someplace to go, and some clothes.'
Napoleon eyed his partner and took note that the banner was still waving...
"And, uh... we might need a caftan for you if that doesn't go down."
Illya heaved a great sigh, regretting that he had no anticipation of enjoying what might have been, under different circumstances, a very admirable quality. This one hurt, and the last thing he wanted was for anything to touch it.
"Why do these things always happen to me, Napoleon? I mean, I have degrees, I am not indiscriminate in my pursuit of personal pleasure. Why do I always end up with bats and mummy makers, and a now this?"
Napoleon wanted to comfort his friend, but nothing seemed appropriate at the moment. All he could do was shrug his muscular shoulders, something that caught Dawn's attention and provoked her to stand up and gain a better view of the men. When she did, a gull that had been pecking in the sand nearby was startled into flight. As it did so, a loud squawk alerted the UNCLE agents to her presence.
In spite of his lack of clothing, Napoleon immediately jumped up and started towards the girl. A swirling mass of seaweed caught his attention and he grabbed it up, all in stride, wrapping it around his hips and securing it by tucking the pods and leaves into a makeshift knot.
Dawn was mortified, unable to move quickly enough to evade his approach. Napoleon didn't think she was Thrush, and momentarily considered that she might get away from him. That concern was quickly eclipsed as she finally stepped down out of the outcropping on which she had been standing.
"Hello. Please, don't be afraid..."
She smiled, a little too easily she admitted. He was a handsome man.
"I'm not afraid. It seems that you are the one at a disadvantage. Are you...is your friend all right?"
Illya's profile was easily identified, his state rather obvious from what Napoleon now saw from a distance. How to explain this one...
"Well, you see...you don't need all of the details, I assure you. We are agents for an international agency...the U.N.C.L.E. You may have heard of it."
Dawn raised one eyebrow at the improbability of meeting secret agents on the beach, at dawn... Stranger things might have happened, but she couldn't think of any.
"Okay... So, why did you end up here...naked? I guess you don't have any I.D. to show me?"
Napoleon smiled. At least she had a sense of humor.
"Ah, no. I'm afraid we seem to have lost that, as well as our clothing. Do you think you can help us out? My partner... Oh, by the way, my name is Napoleon. Napoleon Solo, and my friend over there is Illya Kuryakin."
Another raised eyebrow, but she didn't ask about the names.
"I might be able to help. Against my better judgement I am going to let you come back to my place. It's just a little up the beach. I'm certain I can find you something to wear. My parents come up here sometimes, and dad usually leaves a few things."
Napoleon let out a long sigh, his relief somehow a reassurance as to his character. His smile didn't hurt, either.
Forty feet away, Illya was still lying in the sand, still hefting a tall mast in the breeze.
Dawn McKenna was pretty much an ordinary sort of young woman. She had managed to finish college with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, and went to work everyday as a buyer for an emerging upscale department store. Her job allowed her to travel, something she enjoyed with the heart of a wanderer. The perks of seeing foreign locales and shopping for a living did not escape her sensible side. It was a part of her psyche that was being left behind, at present.
Napoleon was keenly aware of the attractive woman who was promising to clothe him and his partner. She was about Illya's height, he thought, and had hair the color of cinnamon. Wide streaks of blonde accented the curly mane of hair, and she wore no make up this morning; not surprising considering that she looked as though she had started the morning on a jog, not search and rescue.
"I've told you my name, is there any chance you might tell me yours."
Napoleon's charm was an incorrigible aspect of his personality. Standing here on a beach, swathed in seaweed and sporting at least a a five o'clock shadow, he still managed to exude the confidence of a man dressed for success.
The sun was gaining on the day, and Dawn squinted against the bright light even as she took in the blond as he began to sit up. He turned around to look at her and Napoleon, then turned and crossed his arms over his knees and stared out into the water.
"Um...yeah, I think you might as well know who I am.'
She smiled, suddenly sucking Napoleon into a whirlpool of full lips and perfect teeth. He thought perhaps he was in need of food and coffee.
"My name is Dawn McKenna. I think we should probably get to the bungalow and find some clothes for you two. People are going to start showing up pretty soon and, well... you will probably draw a crowd. I somehow don't think that's what you're interested in."
Napoleon nodded and turned back towards Illya, looking for more seaweed to offer his ailing partner. If he ever got his hands on Angelique...
Twenty minutes later and all three had crossed the threshold of Dawn's beach bungalow. It was situated back off of the broadest part of the beach, on top of a slight rise that provided a beautiful view of the sand and surf. Napoleon was impressed and, in spite of Illya's discomfort, was beginning to take some satisfaction in the discovery of this particular innocent and her cozy home.
Illya, who was taking little comfort in anything at the moment, shed his seaweed and took the first shower; it was an amenity that Dawn had considered high on her list of hospitality duties. No matter who had done this to them, the poor guys had slept outside all night, stark naked and, in Illya's case, with the biggest hard on she... Well, she'd never seen anything quite like him, or it...well...all of him. Up close she had noticed (seriously, how could she not?) that he was... intact. No circumcision on this big boy. Oh my, she really wouldn't be able to share this story with anyone...
She did manage to get a towel for Napoleon to wrap around himself. It had to feel better than the seaweed. Dawn had left some coffee in a thermos for after her run, so now she poured a cup for the dark haired agent and was pleased that he found it comforting.
"You know what, I'm going to make some breakfast. You guys must be starving."
Napoleon was hungry, and the coffee was good. He hoped that Illya would finish up in the shower and that Dawn would get to those clothes before she started cooking.
"Thank you, that sounds perfect. Um...do you think you know where your dad's clothes might be? I know Illya will want to put something on...well..."
Dawn started to laugh but caught herself. She didn't know these guys well enough to laugh at their expense.
"Yes, I'll get right to it. I just wanted to check... Oh...hmmm... I don't have any bacon but I do have some little sausages..."
Napoleon guffawed, almost spitting out the coffee in his mouth.
Dawn brought out a pile of shorts and tee shirts for Napoleon to choose from. He found something vaguely stylish, in a beach sort of way, and claimed it as his own. Khaki shorts and a remarkably nice white tee shirt seemed like the best choice. In a few minutes he hoped to get his shower and change into these clothes. Dawn had also found a couple of pair of flip flops and deposited them near the door.
As Napoleon and Dawn were sipping coffee and listening to the sizzle of the breakfast as it simmered in the skillet, a loud banging crash came from the bathroom. Napoleon was immediately on his feet and heading to the noise with Dawn close on his heels.
"Illya! Illya? I'm coming in..."
The blond was in a heap in the middle of the floor, a small shelf that had been attached to the wall was broken into three or four pieces near his right hand. Whatever had been on the shelf was scattered beyond it. Napoleon knelt down beside Illya, checked his pulse and was satisfied he was alive. The pulse was rapid, though, not normal for someone as fit as he.
"Dawn, is there someplace where I can...?"
He didn't need to finish, because she was motioning him to take him into the bedroom.
"Here Napoleon. My God, what happened? Here, this is good."
Napoleon laid Illya down into the unmade bed, noticing only as he started to draw the covers up over his nude body that the erection was gone. He looked, almost involuntarily, at Dawn as she was raising her eyes from a quick examination.
"Well, it must be connected...his fainting and the, uh..."
"Yes, I believe you're correct. I just wish I knew how all of this started... and why."
As if on cue, a knock at the door drew their attention from the blond in the bed. Napoleon wished fervently that he had his weapon, but decided to simply follow Dawn to the door and hope it wasn't Thrush come looking for them.
"Okay, let's answer that. I'll be right behind you."
Dawn looked him up and down, raised an eyebrow and answered his quizzical expression as he mouthed 'What?"
"Oh, nothing. I'm sure you'll frighten off whoever it is wearing that towel you're clenching around your waist."
Napoleon returned a twisted smile, challenging her to doubt that he could do it.
"Oh. Yes, I expect I will."
They headed to the front door, never anticipating who they would see on the other side.
Napoleon was poised next to the door, just out of sight of whoever it might be outside. Dawn took a deep breath, questioning her sanity but genuinely curious as to who it might be at this early hour. Not too many people came to her door before nine o'clock in the morning.
As she pulled the door back, Napoleon clutched at the towel around his waist, wondering at this late juncture just what he was going to do if it was someone who needed to be wrestled to the ground.
Dawn was surprised at who she found standing on her porch. She hadn't even spoken when a familiar voice wafted by Napoleon, who waited only long enough for his hands to grasp the towel a little more tightly.
"Hello. I...well, this is awkward. I think that two of my friends may be here."
Dawn was flustered at the idea of someone following her and the two men back to her bungalow. The woman at the door was a glamorous looking creature, with pale blonde hair and make-up worthy of Max Factor. She recognized her clothing as European; Dawn was very good at her job.
Napoleon stepped out from behind the little lattice room divider and came eyeball to eyeball with Angelique.
"What are you doing here, Angelique? And what did you do to Illya?"
She grinned that lopsided grin of hers, something that Dawn thought was peculiarly attractive... in a peculiar way. Who were these people?
"Oh, Napoleon darling...did the little Russian runt suffer terribly? I do apologize, but it wasn't me. I was attempting to... May I please come inside?"
Dawn was rooted to the floorboards and found it difficult to get out of her way, but she motioned for the blonde to come inside.
"Umm...would you like a cup of coffee?"
It was offered in a small hope of refusal, but Angelique indicated that 'yes, that would be lovely'. So, Dawn went to pour and consider...
"Napoleon...really, you don't think I'd do anything so nasty as that, do you? The formula your dour little partner was injected with is a dreadfully bad affair. One of our scientists thought that he had something for jet lag; you know, keep our agents up and running even after changing time zones. Well, whatever is in that concoction also has something called epimedium. Oh, it's some Chinese herbal mixture, and this fellow has ended up with...well, you saw what it did. I don't know why they're surprised, the Chinese call the dreadful plant Horny Goat Weed. You do believe me, don't you darling."
Just then they both heard a snorting sort of noise coming from the kitchen. Napoleon had to laugh, just a little. But, what about Illya passing out in the bathroom?
"Angelique, Illya collapsed. His pulse was racing, and he was white as a sheet. What's that all about?"
She crossed her legs and prepared to receive the cup of coffee brought in by Dawn. With a curt little nod she continued...
"Well, white as a sheet, eh? That wouldn't take much, the poor boy looks as though he's been white washed most of the time. As for his fainting, well I believe one of the side effects is a lowering of the blood pressure; quite an accomplishment considering all of that blood rushing to... well, you get my point."
"I got your point, and I'd as soon throw you in the ocean as believe what you're telling them."
Illya had appeared at the hallway entrance, remarkably normal looking. Dawn was really seeing him now for the first time and, she had to admit, all of the blondness and pale skin looked good. He appeared to be recovered completely, and if the way he was looking at Angelique was any indication, throwing her in the ocean was a distinct possibility.
"Illya, I must say you don't look any worse for wear. See Napoleon, I told you he'd be fine."
Both men had scathing words on the tips of their tongues, but it didn't seem worth it. She was telling the truth, of that they were fairly certain. Some things just weren't worth lying about, and this was one of them. There wasn't any reason for Thrush to want this formula, and no man in his right mind would want to take it.
Illya was prepared to consider this just another one of those things. Besides, he was hungry. And he needed to put on some clothes. He was growing weary of seaweed and towels for coverings.
"Um, Dawn? Dawn, did you mention having some clothing I might borrow? And, that all smells wonderful in there...breakfast?"
Dawn liked the way he thought, and directed him to the shorts and tee shirts that Napoleon had left for him.
"I'll fix you a plate. Is anyone else ready to eat?"
Napoleon was hungry, but he really wanted that shower. Dare he leave Angelique with the unsuspecting innocent? Come to think of it, Dawn hadn't really behaved like an innocent. She was sharp, and pretty...
"Let me get a quick shower. And, we're going to pay for that shelf."
He winked, and the smile lit up the little room where the two women watched him exit, still holding tight to the towel around his waist.
"Okay, well...Angelique...would you care to stay for breakfast? I'm sure the guys would love to sit and visit."
She wasn't sure about that at all, but her curiosity about all of this was keen, to say the least.
"Oh, you're so sweet. No, I have a driver waiting, so I'd better be on my way. Please tell Napoleon I'll be seeing him later."
"Okay. Any messages for Illya?"
Dawn didn't know why she had to ask that, but what harm could there be in a little mischief? Angelique was quite mischievous enough, however. She had one final word for her Russian rival.
"Tell the Russian I hope there aren't any hard feelings."
As Illya entered the room he had a reply ready for her pithy comment.
"Don't worry, Angelique. I won't hold it against you."